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Medtronic reorganizes, begins search for leader of cardiology business

The surprise, according to analysts, was that Medtronic announced it is doing an external search for the cardiology group’s president. Reuters quoted Morgan Stanley analyst David Lewis as saying “outside perspective has worked for Medtronic in the past and is probably welcomed by many investors.”

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Medtronic on Monday reorganized its business units and announced it will go outside the company for someone to oversee its cardiology products.

Under the reorganization, Medtronic consolidated its cardiac rhythm disease management, cardiovascular and physiocontrol businesses into one unit. Also, a second group will manage the remaining spinal and biologics, neuromodulation, diabetes and surgical technologies businesses.

The initiative falls under the company’s “One Medtronic” strategy announced more than a year ago that’s designed to improve profit margins, grow earnings per share and realign the global workforce to stress what CEO Bill Hawkins then called “relentless and consistent execution.”

Under the ONE Medtronic approach all of our commercial and functional leaders are accountable for the success of the company as a whole. I have, over the last couple of years or several years, selected or recruited each of the individuals for their roles and will hold each of them accountable for their individual and group performance. As a team I’m confident we have what it takes to drive the organization to the next level of success.

The surprise, according to analysts, was that Medtronic announced it is doing an external search for the cardiology group’s president. Leaders of the previous three existing groups — Pat Mackin, Scott Ward and Brian Webster — will answer to the new leader, according to the Medtronic press release.

Reuters quoted Morgan Stanley analyst David Lewis as saying “outside perspective has worked for Medtronic in the past and is probably welcomed by many investors.” But the decision to not promote Mackin, who handled cardiac rhythm disease management, or Ward, who was in charge of cardiovascular, will likely surprise some investors, Lewis said in a research note.

There were other personnel changes as a result of the restructuring. Chris O’Connell, the former president of the diabetes business, takes over the new position of executive vice president and president for the group overseeing spinal and biologics, neuromodulation, diabetes and surgical technologies. Under O’Connell will be Bob Blankemeyer, who oversees surgical Technologies; Steve La Neve, who handles spinal and biologics; Katie Szyman, who will oversee diabetes; and Tom Tefft, who will manage neuromodulation.

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In addition, Dr. Rick Kuntz, who used to oversee neuromodulation, is now the senior vice president and chief scientific, clinical and regulatory officer. Also, Jean-Luc Butel was named to the new position of executive vice president and group president of International. He was formerly senior vice president and president of International.